Four towns and an Apple: Mining and environmental plunder

Features Philippines May 12, 2017 at 2:43 pm

EARTH DAY 2017

By Glenis Balangue

A day before Earth Day, technology giant Apple made a bold claim. Blamed time and again for its role in sustaining the highly destructive mining industry, Apple said it plans to stop using minerals and metals for its famed iPhones and Macs. In its 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report, Apple said that to stop mining the Earth, the firm is looking at just using recycled materials from its older products.

There’s only one problem. Apple admits it still does not know how to go about it. The statement is thus nothing more than a feel-good PR from a global firm that has a controversial supply chain – from blacklisted military-controlled mining sites in Myanmar to sweatshops in China – just in time for Earth Day.

While some global giants that profit from mining resort to publicity stunt, dealing with the awful ill effects to the people and environment of a massive industry that digs up lands and forests for precious minerals, and dumps toxic wastes, is an urgent issue for many local communities.

This is the story of mining communities researched by IBON in the towns of Sipalay in Negros Occidental, Sta. Cruz in Zambales, Macarthur in Leyte, and Kasibu in Nueva Vizcaya.

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